Are There Civic Returns to Education?

43 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2003 Last revised: 1 Nov 2010

See all articles by Thomas S. Dee

Thomas S. Dee

Stanford University - School of Education; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2003

Abstract

The hypothesized effects of educational attainment on adult civic engagement and attitudes provide some of the most important justifications for government intervention in the market for education. In this study, I present evidence on whether these externalities exist. I assess and implement two strategies for identifying the effects of educational attainment. One is based on the availability of junior and community colleges; the other, on changes in teen exposure to child labor laws. The results suggest that educational attainment has large and statistically significant effects on subsequent voter participation and support for free speech. I also find that additional schooling appears to increase the quality of civic knowledge as measured by the frequency of newspaper readership

Suggested Citation

Dee, Thomas S., Are There Civic Returns to Education? (March 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9588. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=391124

Thomas S. Dee (Contact Author)

Stanford University - School of Education ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-3096
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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